Colonizing the Realm of Words
The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Figures and Tables
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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Colonialism transformed many things, inexorably, decisively. But what about ways of narrating and listening, of reading and writing, of using one’s imagination to do things with words? What about literature? How can the realm of words, the language we use and what we do with it, be colonized? ...
List of Abbreviations
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Note on Transliteration, Pronunciation, and Translations of Tamil Primary Sources
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Besides certain obvious exceptions (such as well-known place names or proper names), I have used the standard transliteration system for Tamil as explained in Beythan (1943) so as to satisfy specialist readers and enable non-specialist readers to pronounce the unfamiliar words they encounter. ...
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The cover of this book and Fig. 1.1 show the imposing figure of His Highness Dambadas Ramachandra Tondaiman Bahadur (1829–1886) who ruled the South Indian princely state Pudukkottai from 1839 until his death.1 We see the raja, a seasoned quinquagenarian potentate, clad in a typical Indian royal outfit, ...
2. Mapping the Universe of the Pulavar: Ti. Mīṉāṭcicuntaram Piḷḷai (1815 -1876) and the Field of Traditional Literary Practices
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In his condemnation of late pre-modern literary practices, Srinivasa Aiyangar was certainly not alone. His view may be seen as representative of what many twentieth-century literary histories want to make us believe.2 In fact, as has been pointed out above, this dismissive attitude is still prevalent among present ...
3. Pulavars and Potentates: Structures of Literary Patronage at the Zamindars' Courts and Beyond
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Right at the beginning of the nineteenth century, British colonial impact severely altered the worlds of the local rulers and native kings (poligars, Tam. pāḷaiyakkārar) who had emerged as free agents during the Nayaka period. After the so-called "Poligar Wars" of 1800 - 1801, the erstwhile independent kingdoms ...
4. Toward the Modern Tamil Author: The Colonial Critique of the "Vernacular" and Māyūram Vētanāyakam Piḷḷai (1826 - 1889) as an Agent of Change
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While the pulavars were increasingly drawn toward the new occupations of book publishing and teaching Tamil in the colonial educational system, around mid-century another factor emerged which rendered the pulavars' former lifestyle problematic and less attractive. A public debate arose which severely criticized ...
5. The Emergence of the Tamil Novel
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From the 1850s onward, a new form of narrative called the "novel" emerged in most of India's literary traditions. Manifesting itself first in Bengali and Marathi and moving on to Urdu, Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam, this new genre became increasingly popular in various corners of the subcontinent.1 ...
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As we have seen in the preceding chapters, the colonization of Tamil literature - the transformation of the entire system of Tamil elite literary production and consumption during the course of the nineteenth century - consisted of a set of gradual, interdependent, and complex processes operating at a variety of levels. ...
APPENDIX 1 The Dating of the Cētupati viṟaliviṭutūtu Revisited
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APPENDIX 2 Chronological Table of the Earliest Tamil Novels Published Before 1900
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APPENDIX 3 Original Tamil Texts Quoted and Annotations
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Page Count: 379
Illustrations: 7 b/w photographs, 1 table, 3 figures
Publication Year: 2010